Dr. Benjamin Carson is an incredible man with a fascinating life story, about which a movie was made starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
He is one of the most accomplished, talented neurosurgeons in the country. He came from a humble background with an illiterate mother (she dropped out of school in the 3rd grade) raising him and his brother under difficult circumstances. His violent temper had him on the way to a dark future until his mother intervened. She wouldn’t let the kids watch much TV and required them to write reports on 2 books from the library every week. This eventually turned Carson around. He went on to to earn a B. A. in psychology from Yale.
Carson eventually became a groundbreaking surgeon. He was the first to successfully separate twins who were conjoined at the tops of their heads. He was also the first to operate on adult conjoined twins with success. The operation took place in Singapore in 2003 with over 100 medical personnel and it lasted 52 hours. Basically, he is awesome.
All this does not do justice to his biography but it is important to know in order to appreciate his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast today, where President Obama was listening from mere feet away. These two men are complete opposites. Both men grew up with single moms under difficult circumstances, although Carson’s family may have been poorer. By the time they reach adulthood, however, they had taken divergent ideological paths.
In this short clip, Carson goes right to the heart of Obama’s worldview and dismantles it with a smile and cheerful tone. What’s even better is how indirect he is about it, though the President is sitting only a few feet away. Watch how Carson walks this tightrope and how Obama reacts (also keep an eye out for the priceless look on Senator Jeff Sessions' face).
I was struck by the fact that the audience welcomed Dr. Carson’s remarks. It seemed to add to the suspense of it all. I think he provides a great example to the GOP on how to convey their message in a winsome way. Senator Sessions seems to have been paying attention and I hope his colleagues do too.
For those who are interested, here is the full speech: